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March 14, 2008



The definition of "film noir" has definitely expanded for marketing purposes. In any case, it's good to see some lesser-known older movies finally get the releases they deserve.


Good point, Liz. I would not have enjoyed the first two of these movies had they not been in this series.

Noir's like that old art thing, you just know it when you see it.

In "Street With No Name: A History of the Classic American Film Noir," Andrew Dickos lists these as some of the key elements in noir.

* An urban setting or influence

* Lack of comic structure

* An assertion of individuality as defined by a killing, in violation of modern social mores and the law.

* The femme fatale (or homme fatale)

* Unsavory characters, such as thieves, boxers and crooked cops

* Amnesia often plays a role.

To which I would add:

* An existential search for justice, often outside the system

* A wrongly accused man on the run.

And of course the famed noir lighting schemes, taken largely from the German expressionists.

So "Black Widow" passes most of this test, "Daisy" would not (except for the lighting), and "Dangerous Crossing" gets a point or two for the semi-amnesia plot point.


We studied film noir in a class I took a few years ago, and I learned all about the real stuff. But the term "film noir" has become very trendy, like "vintage" on eBay. It's going to be used as a selling point if it even vaguely applies. "Old Movie Collection" doesn't sound as sexy.

L.A. Observer

Amnesia? Oh yeah, like in the noir "Full House" episode, where Michelle bumps her head horseback riding. Or even better, the "Gilligan's Island" where Gilligan whacks the Skipper on the head, causing amnesia, which he later cures by accidentally whacking him again.

That was a noir riot!


Can anyone tell me the name of the 16th title in the Fox Film Noir series? (The numbers are on the binding of the DVD case.) I have from 1 to 22 and am trying to locate the title of this missing one.

Thanks for any help you can give.


I have these and don't have a #16. A mystery ... Anyone else?

Glenn Abel

Fox just let loose with No. 16 -- It's "Boomerang" with Dana Andrews. It's about the rush to justice in the killing of a priest.


Little late to the party, maybe...have there been any further developements regarding the release of Boomerang? I know it got dropped from the release schedule a few years ago, but does anyone have any idea when (or if) it's going to be available?

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